Some people make a big deal about business strategy. The Amazon.com search for books about business strategy is daunting. People do doctoral theses on it, and then they charge huge fees to help huge companies figure out strategy.

But this is the real world. Your business. And when you pull it back down out of the ivory tower, the good strategies are usually pretty obvious. Some would say boring.

Your strategy pulls in both identity and market.

  • On the identity side of things, you want to focus on strengths, and away from weaknesses. You want to take advantage of your core competencies.
  • On the market side of things, you want to focus on a well-defined target market so you can tailor your message and your business offering. You don’t want to be just a restaurant; you want to be a restaurant with a focus that fits a target market, with price, food, and ambience to match. You don’t want to be just a market research and planning consultant; you want to be a market research and planning consultant with a focus on personal computer markets in Latin America.

As I’ve said elsewhere, your focus is intimately related to your identity and your market. You cannot pull these enmeshed concepts apart.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.